Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

UPDATED: CA Gov’s Lt Gov vacancy pick clears Assembly

State Senator Abel Maldonado (seen at left with a California red-legged jumping frog) cleared another hurdle today (Wednesday, April 21) in his arduous attempt to fill the state’s vacant lieutenant governor post.

The state Assembly Rules Committee voted to send the confirmation of Maldonado (R-Santa Monica) to the full Assembly for an up or down vote, which could occur Thursday. Should he be given the post, it would clear the stage for openly gay former state Assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) to run for Maldonado’s Senate seat.

[ UPDATED: On Thursday the full Assembly voted to send Maldonado’s confirmation to the Senate, which had supported his being given the vacant post when it was first introduced. The Senate is expected to once again endorsed Maldonado for lt. gov. sometime next week.

The race to fill his Senate seat is expected to be combined with the fall general election in order to save the five counties covered by Senate District 15 the $2.5 million it would cost to hold a special election.  Should the governor do so, it is predicted it would give the Democratic candidate an advantage in the race.

Laird is expected to announce his campaign as soon as Maldonado is given the post. ]

Back in February the Assembly rejected Maldonado for the post and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger immediately renominated him for the seat. Until recently it was unclear if the Legislature’s lower body would readdress the matter or simply allow the confirmation to go into effect without voting on it.

“I applaud the Assembly Rules Committee for once again giving Senator Maldonado a fair hearing. Senator Maldonado has been a great public servant, consistently working in a bipartisan manner to improve the lives of all Californians. Given his proven record as an effective legislator, I am confident the California State Assembly will confirm him tomorrow,” stated Schwarzenegger.

Whether Maldonado has convinced a majority of Assembly members to give him the seat remains to be seen. He has already filed to seek the lt. gov post in the Republican June primary.

If he wins, he will face off against either San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom or Los Angeles Councilmember Janice Hahn, who are locked in a bitter intra-Democratic Party primary race.

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 21, 2010 @ 4:25 pm PST
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